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Spring

by Toby Hogan

 

Spring Springtime speckled trout fishing on the gulf coast can be a challenge for many salt anglers. Windy conditions, changing weather patterns and cool water temperatures are normal for March, April and May. Although sometimes the weather is not the best for fishing, this is the time of year that offers speckled trout anglers a chance to catch trophy-sized speckled trout. Most bays along the Texas Gulf Coast should be turning on with some huge speckled trout. In late March, through early April, female trout usually start filling out with eggs. Large females are called “Sow” trout and may release up to a million eggs each time she spawns. Speckled trout spawn every 7-14 days during the April-September spawning period. Spawning activity depends on environmental factors such as currents, water salinity and water temperatures. Egg development begins to take place as days become longer in spring. Water temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit seem to trigger spawning and it continues as water temperatures increase during the summer. The cycle of the moon also affects spawning with spawning peaks occurring on or near the full moons of spring and summer months. As water temperatures warm in the spring, speckled trout return to the shallows of the primary and secondary bays to spawn. The prime months for catching trophy trout in Texas are March and April. Many of the fishing guides up and down the Texas coast say this year could be excellent for big trout. Places to go for trophy speckled trout are Matagorda, Baffin Bay south of Corpus Christi and the lower Laguna Madre from Port Mansfield to Port Isabel. The north shoreline of East Galveston Bay is very popular when it comes to catching big specks. There are many shell reefs scattered along the north and south East Bay shorelines that attract large trout. If you have the Springtime Speckled Trout Fishing Fever it is best to hire a professional guide that knows the area and when and how to catch trophy trout. March,April,May

 

 
Summer

by Toby Hogan

 

Summer The “Dog Days of Summer” occur between July 3rd and August 11th. At this time, Sirius, the “dog star” rises and sets with the sun. In ancient times they believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun creating a stretch of hot weather. They called this period of time “dog days” after the Dog Star. Offshore and water temperatures in the surf vary only a few degrees during the summer months but the shallow in-shore water is more-easily affected by water temperatures. During the cooler months warming of the water keeps fish on the flats but during the summer warm water has the opposite effect. Trout will change locations for comfort when the water temperature warms up during the day. At this time fish will seek fish will seek out deeper water, such as channel edges, cuts, jetties, and the intracoastal waterway.

They will stay there during the hottest part of the day. Then, at night during the cooler hours, especially during a full moon, fish will return to the shallows to feed and can be found there until shortly after sun-up when the sun reheats the water. Bigger trout seem to be affected more by the warm water then smaller trout. There are plenty of beaches to fish on the Texas Gulf Coast. The best times to surf fish are the summer months, when there are light South East winds and waves are calm causing green water to be pushed toward the beach. When you know the water conditions are right, you must fish early in the morning before day light. Fish feed at night and early in the morning. Sometimes the best activity is just before the sun comes up in the first gut nearest the beach. Bars are higher areas where the waves rise and break, guts are lower depression. For those who may not know much about surf fishing, one section of the beach may not look like any other. Experienced surf fisherman; however, know the best spots.

When you find anglers on the beach catching fish, try to fish nearby without crowding them. Watching the techniques of successful anglers will teach you a lot about fishing in the surf. Top water lures can be very effective fishing early in the morning, later in the day the fish move to deeper water so you may want to try a 4inch soft plastic swimming shad lure or sand ell lure with either a ¼ to 3/8 ounce jig. Fan cast the guts letting your lure sink to the bottom then retrieve by slowly bouncing it off the bottom. Red fish like shallow rough water on top of the bar whereas speckled trout, sand trout and flounder prefer the guts where the deep slough runs between the beach and the bar. Safety should not be over looked so never fish alone. If you plane on fishing in deeper water you should have some type of life jacket or an inflatable P.F.D.. When surf fishing, long pants are recommended. Blue jeans are ok but are heavy when wet. A light weight pant with nylon blend of a darker color works best. Wearing pants will help keep the jelly fish from stinging your legs. Other attire would include a light weight fishing shirt, hat with tie down string and sunglasses. Wear wading shoes and sting way guards and shuffle your feet as you move around. Always keep your eye out for sting rays, jelly fish and sharks. You will want to use a long stringer and allow it to float some distance from you. Tie a slip knot in your stringer cord in case in case sharks attack your catch, you can let them have it and move to safety. It’s a good idea to scout the area you intend to wade fish at low tide to see if there are any deep holes, sudden drop offs or dangerous debris that can be hidden during high tide. And don’t wade fish in rough water, powerful waves and strong under tows, this could result in injury or death. If you wear waders make sure you wear a belt in case you fall down in water, a belt will keep your waders from filling up with water and pulling you under. June,July,August

 
Fall

September 22, 2014

by Toby Hogan

 

Fall Birds are good at locating speckled trout. Seagull’s turns and pelicans. Seagulls are the first to feed on shrimp being chased to the surface by trout, large groups of birds diving and hovering over the water is a sure sign of a school of trout; but, just a few birds working can have some good action. Don’t overlook seagulls sitting on the water; they are sometimes sitting right under a school of bait fish. Stay some distance from birds; wait around for a while and see if trout will chase the bait back to the surface. Most of the time, boats will just plow right through the birds sitting on the water. When birds are located; use your trolling motor to get into casting range, on the outer edge of the feeding fish. You will catch better trout on the outer edge of the school of fish. If you don’t have a trolling motor, go up wind some distance. Shut your motor off and drift within casting distance.

You can use your anchor to slow down your drift or hold you close enough to the school. You will be able to catch a fair amount of trout before they move off. Repeat this process in the same manner when birds move out of casting range, but, always stay far enough away and you will not spook the school of fish that are feeding below the birds. When using your trolling motor go slowly, set your motor prop at the proper height, it should be low enough in the water as not to hit the bottom or too high and cavitation’s effect at the surface. Do not vary your trolling motor speed; changing speeds too often can spook fish making them hard to catch. There are two types of trolling motors; one type is with a hand tiller mounted on the transom alongside the out board motor on a bracket made for that purpose; the other is mounted on the bow with a foot control. The electric trolling motor was invented in 1934 by a fellow named O. G. Schmidt; he got a started motor from a Model A Ford; added a shaft and a propeller. After some time he developed a manufacturing company. His company was near the Minnesota/North Dakota border. He named his company Minn Kota Ring A Bell. Used propyl a trolling motor will help you find fish. Use your trolling motor to get your boat to a spot you intend to fish, turn motor off, if conditions will allow you can still-fish, drift or if wind and currents are too strong you can anchor.

September,October,November

 
Winter

 

by Toby Hogan

Winter Cold Weather conditions can be some of the best times to catch Specks. Speckled Trout will not move far from the area they have been in all summer. When the weather starts to get cooler in October and November along the Texas coast, large numbers of trout will move into rivers and creeks. Trout and red fish do well in a mix of fresh and salt water. Fish grow faster and bigger in these areas because there is a lot of bait fish for them to eat.in the early fall the weather may not be cold enough to push trout very far up the river or creek; if a warming trend follows a cold front; fish will move back to the river’s mouth and shallow bay flats; but as you get into late November and December, colder weather and strong north winds will cause trout to stay in the deeper water of rivers and creeks. At this time trout will be scattered all up and down the river and birds will be working in some areas. Use your trolling motor and work an area slowly and stay with it till you learn the area; instead of jumping around here and there. Find bait fish and you will find trout and red fish. Most smaller trout are hunter feeders and large trout prefer to wait for bait fish to swim by and then attack. Look for places for baitfish to hide; pilings, piers, shell beds, brush piles, limbs, logs, grassy shore lines, up near feeder creeks, deep troughs, drain ditches and pipeline crossings. Stay far enough away from areas that might hold fish so you won’t be right in the middle of them. When you do catch a fish, stay just within casting range. Noise from your trolling motor and fighting a fish that is thrashing around in the water will spook other fish in the area. When you are drift-fishing, try to make your drift down-wind or down-current. There are a number of creeks and rivers that flow into the bays along the Texas Coast. As long as the creeks and rivers stay salty and heavy rains have not flooded the rivers, many speckled trout and redfish find refuge in the winter in the warmth of deep water and even through cold temperatures, trout feed on bait fish, that are plentiful. Another advantage of fishing in creeks and rivers is that strong winds are not too much of a problem as if fishing in open bays. Night fishing is a very good on the rivers when the water turns green and the temperature cools off. At times before it gets to cold, birds will work shrimp just in the bay. When the rivers are packed with trout and the weather is very cold, trout will stay in the deepest part of the river trolling different types of fishing lures will pay off. December January February

 

Current Blogs & Important Links Below
 
Birds

September 15, 2012

by Toby Hogan

Birds are good at locating Speckled Trout.  Seagulls, terns, and pelicans.  Seagulls are the first to feed on shrimp being chased to the surface by trout.  Large groups of birds diving and hovering over the water is a sure sign of a school of trout, but just a few birds working can have some good action.  Don't overlook seagulls sitting on the water.  Most of the time boats will just plow right through birds sitting on the water.  They are sometimes sitting right over a school of bait fish.  Stay some distance from the birds; wait around for a while and see if trout will chase the bait back to the surface.  When birds are located, use your trolling motor to get into casting range on the outer edge of the feeding fish.  Stay on the outer edge.  Never go through the middle of the birds.  Follow the birds from behind with your trolling motor.  Always stay some distance away so as not to spook the main group of feeding fish.  You will catch better trout on the outer edge of the school of fish.

If you don't have a trolling motor, go up-wind some distance.  Shut your motor off and drift within casting distance.  You can use your anchor to slow down your drift or hold close enough to the school.  You will be able to catch a fair amount of trout before they move off.  Repeat this process in the same manner when birds move out of casting range but always stay far enough away and you will not spook the school of fish that are feeding below the birds.

 
 
Having Fun Outdoors

July 8, 2012

by Toby Hogan

The "Dog Days of Summer" occur between July 3rd and August 11th.  At this time, Sirius, the "dog star" rises and sets with the sun.  In ancient times they believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun creating a stretch of hot weather.  They called this period of time "dog days" after the Dog Star.

Offshore and water temperatures in the surf vary only a few degrees during the summer months but the shallow in-shore water is more-easily affected by water temperatures.  During the cooler months warming of the water keeps fish on the flats but during the summer warm water has the opposite effect.  Trout will change locations for comfort when the water temperature warms up during the day.  At this time fish will seek out deeper water, such as channel edges, cuts, jetties, and the intracoastal waterway.  They will stay there during the hottest part of the day.  Then, at night during the cooler hours, especially during a full moon, fish will return to the shallows to feed and can be found there until shortly after sun-up when the sun reheats the water.  Bigger trout seem to be affected more by the warm water than smaller trout.

Plan your trip accordingly.  Fish shallow early morning or late afternoon.  You can have good success at this time drifting the flats using top water lures.  Sometimes using a smaller top water lure works best, or use a popping cork with a shrimp lure 1/4 ounce pink or charteuse or a rattail worm jig 1/8 ounce white or chartreuse.  Using a popping cork will allow your lure to stay in the strike zone longer.  The popping cork will attract fish for some distance.  Set your cork to fish the lure 12-18 inches.  This method works well when they're not hitting top water lures.  Avoid using scented baits during the summer.  You'll catch too many crabs, hard heads and gaf-tops.  That's not to say you won't catch them with unscented lures, but not as often.  As the day heats up, fish move to deeper water.  At this time you can find fish in channels, around jetties, or the intracoastal waterway.  Look for slicks, drift the drop-offs casting into the deeper water.  Trout will hang out along ledges in the cooler water waiting for bait fish to move along the channel edge.  The best lures to use in these area are swimming shad lures, 1/4 ounce and 3/8 ounce jig, or swimming mud minnow lure 1/4 ounce jig.  Cast out and work your lure along the edges.  Good colors are root beer and reds.

Top Water Lures
   

Be careful on the water in the summer.  Thunder storms can pop up at any time.  They can cause dangerous lightning so keep an eye out for these storms and head for safety.  DON'T FOOL AROUND.  LIGHTNING STRIKES ARE DEADLY.

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